Although everyone expects the voice and data capabilities of their mobile devices to simply work everywhere, there are significant technical and financial challenges to making this a reality. This post provides an overview of distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions for in-building wireless coverage for cellular voice services. It also provides a brief look at the future of indoor cellular coverage.
The rise of WiFi-capable smartphones have, to a large extent, solved the data connectivity issue. However, in-building wireless coverage for cellular voice services remains a significant challenge. This is where DAS can help.
In a generic technical sense, a distributed antenna system is a solution that places a large number of small antennas throughout a building or set of buildings. DAS antenna spacing is often similar to the placement of Wi-Fi access points in a building. These antennas are powered by a series of small transmitters that are distributed throughout the DAS network.
DAS-based solutions to the cellular coverage problem will likely continue to remain important for the foreseeable future, even though technical alternatives exist. Technologies that enable a user’s smartphone to leverage an available Wi-Fi network instead of the carrier’s cellular network have been available for years, but, aside from T-Mobile, are not widely deployed in the United States. Likewise, while VoIP applications (such as Skype) that function over both a smartphone’s cellular and Wi-Fi radios are widely available, they are typically not well integrated with the handset and do not deliver the experience users expect. For more information, call us at 803-325-1717.